Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finish Work Begins

We decided to start the finish work on the doors before removing the body.  The reason is because our body dolly no longer supports the nose of the car and we thought that might alter the doors alignment.  I started with the passenger door because there is a spot that I suspect needs more than just Bondo.

I was right.  Using a burr grinder I removed old damaged fiberglass all the way down to bright metal.  The fiberglass was feathered back so that the repair would cover a large area.  The larger the area the stronger the repair.

Five layers of fiberglass matte were used to make that repair.  While the fiberglass was curing I started sanding the louver area.   All blemishes and questionable areas were removed by grinding.  In this picture the areas that still have green primer are shallow/low areas that require Bondo. 

The green primer was removed before applying the Bondo.  Bondo is intended to be applied directly over fiberglass and metal, not primer.

After the fiberglass resin and the Bondo cured, the area was block sanded until smooth.  The next time we work in this area it will be for fresh primer.

Ty was able to come over for a couple hours today.  Ty used the same basic technique on the front of the passenger door.  After sanding, the thickest amount of filler material is estimated at only 1/32".

The passenger door is  2/3 done.  As we continue to finish the car we will have less and less primer.  You can gauge our progress by watching the primer disappear.

So how did we do on our first day of finish work?  Ty and I think we did pretty good.  Double click on the picture to judge for yourself.

After cleaning up the mess we took a few minutes to admire the car.  There is shop talk about a white racing stripe.  What do you think?

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Pillar Modification

When this A pillar was repaired over a year ago it was done without the benefit of the drip rail or the door being in place.  Now that the drip rail and door are hung/aligned we can see we don't have a gap between the door and the drip rail on the inside of the car.  An interior molding goes here so the gap must be increased.   

After examining all options we decided to modify the pillar in the area shown.  A gradual taper was needed starting at the mid point of the pillar working down to a 3/8" gap at the bottom.

The drip rail was removed then the pillar was cut using a thin cutting wheel.  The pillar was bent into its new position then prepared for welding.

Using dozens of tack welds the pillar was re-welded into place.

The tack welds were ground smooth then JB Weld was applied to fill in any nooks and crannies.

The drip rail was welded back in place then we check to see how everything fit.  We ended up with a nice even gap between the door and A pillar as viewed from outside the car.

And we have a respectable "3 tongue depressor" gap on the inside.  This will be perfect for that piece of molding.

Body removal should be next.  Stay tuned for that!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

More Fitting and Aligning

All right, I wasn't done.  Rivets, rivet holes, thinning fiberglass and general workmanship issues drove me back to the headlight buckets.  I marked the areas that needed attention...

then ground all the areas until the fiberglass was almost paper thin.

Those areas were then filled with fiberglass resin and matting.

After grinding the fiberglass, a thin coat of Bondo was applied...

then the front end was painted with 2 part epoxy primer.

Although I don't have pictures to support his effort, Ty spent several hours fitting the rear bumper area to perfection.

After all that hard work we loaded up the Corvette and took it to a local Friday night car show a few miles down the road.  It was a fun evening and several people stopped to talk about our project.

Oh yeah.  I got tired of people referring to my trailer as a POS so I made some minor modifications and gave it a fresh coat of paint.  I think it turned out great and I doubt Ty and Dennis will bad mouth it any more.

OK, so here's where we are.  There is one more repair that needs to be worked on before we can say "fit" is complete.  There is an interference between the right side A pillar and the passenger door that won't allow a chrome piece to be installed.  This interference can only be corrected by cutting and repositioning the A pillar.  Once this is repaired we can remove the body and start doing "finish" work.  Be forewarned, finish work will be a long process.

While the body is removed we will fix several items on the rolling chassis.  If you double click on the picture you'll see some of the things we need to do.

Check back in a couple weeks to see if the A pillar has been repaired.  Thanks for watching.